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Thread: Wanted: DEC Rainbow owner to test disk image

  1. #1

    Default Wanted: DEC Rainbow owner to test disk image

    I recently found a copy of Word Perfect for the DEC Rainbow. I made disk images of it for preservation purposes. Is there anyone that has a Rainbow and a way to write floppies for it that would be willing to test the images I made to make sure that they work? Since I don't have one, and they are a weird format, I'd hate to wrongly assume my backups are good, and fail to archive the software.

    If you've got one and would like to help, let me know and I'll send you a link.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I can't test, but I'm curious, how did you archive them?
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  3. #3

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    I've got a kryoflux and I told it to archive them at 80 tracks and single sided. It seems to have successfully read data. I also saved the raw data, just to be sure. Supposedly there are ways to do that same thing on a PC with a 1.2MB drive directly attached (instead of the kryoflux). I think when you actually write the images back to floppy, you use a 1.2mb drive, but you use DD media, not HD, because it only writes 8 or 9 sectors per track instead of 15.

  4. #4

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    I have a Rainbow 100A recently acquired from Lou Ernst. Thanks Lou. I have no idea of how I could create
    the disk from an image file though. I really know little about this box as of now.

  5. #5

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    I could write a copy of the images I made and just mail the disks. I assume that would be a good enough test.

  6. #6

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    Thought you had no way to make the disks? So I am confused as to what you are suggesting. Still willing
    to help if i can.

  7. #7

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    I don’t have any way to test my images. (Or the floppies I have, or any I write). And the easiest way to test the images would be to email them to someone. But if you cannot write your own floppies, I could probably write them, from my images, and if they work for you then I know my images are good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I don't have a DEC rainbow, but I would be more than happy to take a look at the kryoflux images and verify that they at least look right compared to other DEC Rainbow media. I should also be able to tell if there is copy protection or if there were any read errors.

  9. #9

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    I assume there is some way to get an image to a floppy for this. But I doubt I have the hardware needed. I'd be glad to
    test whatever floppies you want to test. Maybe we can figure out how to go forward from there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I took a look at the images you sent, and I did notice one problem with the stream files. They were made with the 1.2mb drive set to "high density" even though these are "low density" disks.

    If you are using the command line, use the parameter -dd1 or "density line high" in the GUI. It is confusing because they refer to the drive's logic line signal level rather than actual density, which is the exact opposite. (Logic line high=low density, logic line high=low density). On top of that confusion, one never really knows for 100% sure if a 5.25 disk has high or low density data on it until the content is examined.

    The kryoflux folks will tell you it does not matter, but in practice having the wrong density set can cause intermittent read errors, and it can confuse some decoding tools. The Kryoflux's decoder can aparently deal with this. But, when I tried to decode them with the PCE tools to check for copy protection, the tools barfed.

    FYI, DEC Rainbow disks are normally Low Density ("Double Density"), MFM, single sided, 80 tracks 96TPI, 10 sectors of 512 bytes per track.

    I would recommend redumping with the correct setting for preservation purposes. But in this case, I did not detect any copy protection, so the raw flux streams are not as important, and I was able to decode them and write usable disks directly from the stream files.

    I also created ImageDisk images from the stream files, which are more useful to those wanting to write fresh disks than unstructured IMG files. (360k, 720k, 1.2mb, and 1.44mb IMG files are standard, but the DEC Rainbow's format is very non-standard).

    I'll send you a PM with those.

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